Life without Elvis, life without government

Hung parliament hangs out, just fooling around?

Better looking than Clegg? Better looking than Clegg?
One of the facts behind the present political turmoil is that for each hour that the UK gets along without a 'proper' parliament so spreads the notion that the political elite are not as essential as they would have us think. Prior to the election we were told the sky would fall in unless a strong government was elected, clearly this is not so. How the world financial markets will react in the early hours of Monday morning, then throughout the week, remains to be seen. As it now seems that Nulabour will be on the way out by then, perhaps there will be a breathing space.

How different all this is from the first days of Nulabour in 1997. Then Tony Blair told us his Chancellor, Gordon Brown, would "hit the ground running". This was essential to undo all those problems left behind by the previous government, unlike now; by contrast these days Brown is a lot slower to move, some say he plans to glue himself to the No10 office chair! Also, the longer the waiting-for-government stage goes on, the weaker and less relevant Brown and Nulabour become.

But what of our man Clegg? The latest news is that he has set a deadline for the conclusion of talks with the Tories. So is Clegg pushing the Tories or are his supporters pushing him? Setting a deadline this way may look tough, or perhaps he thinks it does, it may also be foolish. Can any serious person imagine the Tories wanting to string this out? The LibDems have much to lose, hopefully their immaturity too. For too long they have traded on the fact that they can promise the moon to the electors knowing that they will never have to deliver.

And the reason for this? Well ironically it is the First Past The Post (FPTP) system, the very same one that they so despise. As they beaver away campaigning for PR, many voters will recall that they did all they could to stop a vote, a referendum, on the Lisbon Treaty. So, seeking fairness, giving more power to the voter, appears to be conditional. This will come back to haunt them.

On to the Tories. At first they were keen on offering a referendum. But then lapsed and now they too, like Nulabour, will do their utmost to prevent anyting like the Lisbon Treaty coming before the voter. There are claims that the Tories 'lost' 22 seats because of the votes that went to UKIP. The entire political elite has failed to bury the EU as a vote loser. It was the Nulabour Chancellor, Alistair Darling, who spent his weekend talking to our partners in the EU about helping the euro survive. Funny that, as the UK has kept the pound. How lucky for the UK political elite, especially the Tories, that those talks are being held now and not three weeks ago. That would have given UKIP even more votes.

But then also lucky that Cleggmania was an illusion and the LibDems did not take over. So the talks are not being held three weeks hence, in that case Saint Vince Cable would, in all probability, have been our Chancellor - throwing good money after bad, our money too. Lucky again for the Tories that George Osborne is their choice for Chancellor, just imagine sending arch europhile Ken Clarke on such an errand!